Posts Tagged ‘relationships’

My Sister’s Plot to Kill Me

[This is a true story.]

One of the following is something I have NEVER done. Can you guess?

  • Eaten oysters
  • Driven 1,300 miles with a rabbit and a parakeet
  • Gone skinny dipping
  • Jumped out of an airplane

If you guessed, “eaten oysters” you are correct. But also a shout out to my many supportive fans who wrote in “humor writing”. Yes, I actually jumped out of an airplane. But don’t worry. Many of you will be glad to know I survived.

Normally, I would never do something so stupid. It wasn’t even my idea. You can blame my sister for this reckless fiasco. For purposes of this story, and out of respect for my sister’s privacy, I’m going to refer to her as “Betsy” because, first, that’s her name, and second, I don’t give a rat’s ass about her privacy.

The year was 1982. Betsy and I were both attending The Ohio State University. One day, for reasons unfathomable to me, she quipped, “Hey, let’s go skydiving!” I could only deduce she was off her meds – or perhaps she was looking for a creative way to avoid working on a term paper. I replied as any loving, older brother would – I berated her for being an idiot. But my sister can be extremely persuasive, by which I mean she questioned my masculinity. Eventually, after badgering me for what seemed like three days, but probably was closer to eleven minutes, I caved.

Betsy discovered an outfit called Skydive Green County, in a rural community called Xenia, Ohio, where cows outnumber people 50 to 1. We dove into an intensive full-day crash-course on skydiving, which culminated in a static line jump out of a Cessna from 5,000 feet.

At noon, the class broke for a 45-minute lunch. It took longer than expected for my Last Meal to be served, so Betsy and I arrived back 15 minutes late. I figured, we couldn’t possibly have missed anything important in that short interval. Turns out, I was mistaken – perilously so.

After seven hours of training, the energy of these thrill-seekers was palpable – that is, of all but one. And he looked a lot like me. All I could think was, “How in the world did I let my crazy, impulsive sister corral me into doing such a daredevil act of insanity? Worse yet, I didn’t even use a 50% off Groupon!” My only consolation was that as a law student, I could one day sue my sister for wrongful death. Or maybe not.

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  • Published On Nov. 29, 2017 by TEJ
  • In Life, My Wife Got Shortchanged

    Dear Reader,

    This is a desperate plea for help. Not for me, mind you. For my wife, Michele. I don’t know how to put this delicately, but my wife suffers from VID – Vertical Impairment Disorder. She is barely 5 feet tall. And she has remained that height for as long as I’ve known her. I’m doubtful she’ll overcome her impairment any time soon. But I’m a patient husband.

    Nobody knows for sure why God chose to punish her by making her so short. Perhaps her parents stopped feeding her when she reached 4’9”. Or maybe, given that she is from Canada, where nine months of the year they live in total darkness, she didn’t get enough sunlight.

    Who knows why she is thus afflicted. I would ask her mom, who’s 5’1” or her dad, who’s 5’3”, but I doubt they can shed any light. One thing’s for sure: my wife is often overlooked – unless you look down – way down – to see her.

    My heart aches because there is nothing I can do to help her grow to a normal adult height – through no lack of trying. For a while I suggested wearing 8-inch heels, but that was a total bust. I kept falling over. Then I suggested perhaps SHE should wear the high heels. But she had this utterly silly idea about accepting the way God made her. But I would not give up. I bought her a grow light. However, the only thing that’s sprouted so far is the ficus tree. One time I surprised her with a dousing of Miracle-Gro. While it’s done wonders for our house plants (you should see the ficus now!), the only part of my wife that grew was her ire. Actually, she did seem a tad taller when she shouted in my face to turn off the hose.

    After several years of trying in vain to coax my wife to a respectable 5’5”, I concluded I was being terribly shortsighted. So, I’ve decided to accept her just the way she is. We are determined to still have a quality life together even though we may have to make a few height-restricted accommodations. For example, Michele can’t reach anything on the top kitchen shelf, so I often will stop watching TV to retrieve the fondue pot or maybe a tall vase for her. And I will do this gladly – unless the game is in overtime.

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    • I know how crushing VID can be for the sufferer and for the family. You know my wife, and…
      Seth Greenblatt
  • Published On Nov. 16, 2017 by TEJ
  • Breaking up with an English Teacher

    [The following text exchange took place between a female business executive named Roxanne and her boyfriend of four years, Virgil, a high school English teacher.] 

    Roxanne: Dear Virgil, I gotta tell you something and it’s been on my mind for a long time.

    Virgil: Good evening, Roxanne. Thank you for your text. By the way, “gotta” is not proper English. I believe you meant to say, “I must” or “I have to.” What’s up?

    Roxanne:  We need 2 talk. 

    Virgil: You errantly used the digit “2” as in one more than one. So, you’ve lost me. We need “one plus one talk?” That makes no sense. Please clarify. 

    Roxanne: Oh, for God’s sake, Virgil. 2 is short for “to.” We need TO talk. I cant wait any longer. 

    Virgil: Sorry, still not clear on what you’re trying to convey – unless you mean “no, I can’t” in which case, don’t forget the apostrophe since it’s a contraction.   

    Roxanne: Geez. Okay. Got it. 

    Virgil: Who’s got what? “Got it” is missing a subject. Who has it? A policeman? The Queen of England? My schnauzer? My brain buzzes with possibilities. Could you clarify who it is that has it and what specifically does he or she have? 

    Roxanne: Jesus, Virgil. I’m talking about US. We need to talk about US. 

    Virgil: Capitalizing the letters US only makes sense if you’re referring to our country. But even then, technically you should put periods after the letters since it’s an abbreviation for United States. 

    Roxanne: Virgil, focus. For the millionth time, I don’t need another syntax lesson. 

    Virgil:  I believe you mean “another grammar” lesson. Syntax is about word order. Your mistake was – 

    Roxanne: My MISTAKE was taking four freakin’ years to tell you what I should have told you four years ago. It’s over.  Read More…


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  • Published On May. 25, 2017 by TEJ
  • Day at the Museum

    As a good husband, I try to feign interest in my wife’s favorite passions. It’s easy when we’re talking kittens or kayaking. But the next time my wife asks, “Honey, how would you like to check out this new museum?”, if you have an ounce of compassion in you, PLEASE, for the love of God, STOP ME from spinelessly acquiescing to her heartless suggestion. It’s dangerous to my emotional well-being. The problem is that my wife and I have very different notions about what it means to “check out” a museum.

    It doesn’t matter whether we’re talking a museum of paintings, cuckoo clocks, or the Wisconsin Museum of Cheese. It’s all about the approach. I like to swoop in, catch a glimpse of three or four major highlights, and get out while I still have some functioning brain cells. But my wife – she might as well sign a short-term rental agreement with the museum’s Board of Directors, because she’s planning on staying.

    Last weekend, we visited the Museum of Anthropology and Natural History. Michele got excited because she learned this was the last day of their special exhibit called Fabrics Around the World. I figured, how long could this possibly take? I mean, you have cotton, polyester, and wool, the three fabrics that make up every article of clothing I’ve ever owned. We’d roll through the entire display in fifteen minutes max. I was off – by a factor of five.

    My wife was fascinated by the intricate weavings found in Morocco, the brilliant colors preferred in the hilltop regions of Bhutan, and the myriad methods of felting coming from the British Isles. Meanwhile, my interest in fabrics was focused on a pizza stain I just noticed on my white t-shirt which was woven – I think you’ll find this interesting – in the Philippines, using a traditional polyester blend, made in a sweat shop by a nine-year-old boy named Danilo.

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  • Published On May. 07, 2017 by TEJ
  • My Confession to My Readers

    Confession to my readersLately, I’ve been carrying a heavy burden that I need to get off my chest. There are many things I feel guilty about, and I just have to come clean about them to my loyal readers – all eleven of you. In the spirit of Stephen Colbert’s Midnight Confessions, I have decided to make my own public confessions to all who care to listen.

    [NOTE: Before reading my heartfelt confessions below, please turn up the volume of your speakers, then click on this link, skip past the commercial and wait about four seconds, after which you’ll hear some appropriate background confessional music. Then return to this page to read my confessions. God bless you, my friend.] 

    Dear reader,

    Sometimes I can be a bit lazy. Like when my wife asks me to clean the sheets of the guest bedroom after our most recent visitors have left, I will say “Absolutely, honey” but then I’ll simply pull the bed covers over the sheets without changing them.

    Sometimes I will tell my neighbor that his lawn looks great, when secretly, deep down in my heart, I know it doesn’t. It really needs to be weeded.

    I’m not proud of this, but recently, when I played golf with my buddies, I told the guy keeping score that I got an 9 on the par-3 eleventh hole, when really I got a 10.

    When donating food to the homeless, there have been times when instead of putting the Girl Scout Thin Mints cookies in the donation bag, I’ll put in graham crackers. Because I don’t particularly care for graham crackers – unless they’re the cinnamon ones, in which case I’ll probably keep them, too.

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    • Tim, no need to confess your deflated golf score.......after two seasons of playing golf with you I have always added…
      Ken Neilson
  • Published On Mar. 17, 2017 by TEJ
  • Signs My Daughter Loves Me

    signs-my-daughter-loves-me-cartoonIf you’re a parent like me – or even if you’re a parent who’s not like me – at some point you’ve probably asked yourself, “Why on earth did I ever have kids?” In my case, I blame my wife.

    For years, I found that same question popping into my head – roughly every four minutes – as I would endure one battle after another with my rebellious younger daughter for household supremacy. I fondly recall that satisfying period when I was in charge and my word was law. But then she turned two.

    Parenting is exhausting, with long stretches during which you wonder if your children will ever show you a glimmer of respect or affection – and by “long stretches” I mean from age two to whatever age they currently are. If you’re feeling anxious that perhaps your child doesn’t love you, despite all the hard work and sacrifices you’ve made, it’s understandable. But there is hope she’ll get through her awkward, narcissistic phase, and the day will come when she shows you her devotion. Admittedly, when I say “there is hope”, I mean in the way that there’s hope my Seattle Mariners may someday make it to the World Series, or how astronomers hope someday they may find intelligent life elsewhere in the universe.

    The signs are obvious if you just know where to look. Here’s how I know my daughter loves me:

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    • Tim, you're a master at hyperbole, they can't help but love you. They show you with their gaze that melts…
      Paul Burgess
  • Published On Jan. 29, 2017 by TEJ
  • My Fifty First Dates

    first-date-young-manWhen I look back at my youth, I sometimes cringe about all those first dates and how awkward I was. A lot of men worry about making a bad first impression, fearing they might do something stupid like forget to bring their wallet or accidentally show their date pictures of their wife and kids. Bad form.

    I’ve been out of the dating scene for a few decades, but I doubt it’s changed much. The last time I asked out a woman other than my wife, Margaret Thatcher was the newly elected prime minister of Great Britain, Christopher Cross had just topped the music charts with Sailing, and a surefire way to pick up chicks was to impress them by riding the bar’s mechanical bull. Um, okay, maybe things have changed a bit since I was making my moves.

    I’ve had lots of experience with first dates – and even a few isolated experiences with second dates. I won’t sit here and brag that I’m God’s gift to women – and I’m pretty confident neither would any of my first dates. But I can vividly recall how some of those entrées into the dating world went. I’d like to share my wisdom around this important mating ritual, in the hopes it may help some of you single guys out there have a better chance at a second date. (I swear I’m not making up any of the following examples).

    If you’re in say, middle school, and you’re on the very first date of your life, don’t put your arm around the girl during the movie unless you pick up clear signals she’s into you. Subtle signs she may not be into you include:

    • She stares at the screen the entire time, refusing to make eye contact with you
    • After five minutes, she discreetly removes your arm from her shoulder – and does it again five minutes later
    • When your older brother picks you up after the movie, she asks you to sit in the front seat instead of the back seat with her
    • When you attempt to walk her to her door (as your father told you was the gentlemanly thing to do), she sprints

    These all happened to me on my very first date. I felt so crushed that I briefly considered the merits of changing my sexual orientation.

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  • Published On Dec. 04, 2016 by TEJ
  • A Night at the Opera

    opera-viking-ladyMy wife always complains we don’t do enough things to expand our cultural awareness. Somehow she does not consider The Big Bang Theory enough of an expansion – I keep telling her she’d learn some interesting factoids about particle physics if she just listened to a few Sheldon Cooper rants. Her needling me about my lack of cultural curiosity offends me deeply because I’m an extremely sophisticated, erudite person. As proof, I would point out my usage of the word “erudite” in the previous sentence (which I found on a Google search of obscure, smart-sounding words).

    Last summer, my wife and I went to one of those fancy pants, highbrow movie theaters where we saw a Danish film with English sub-titles. Not trying to brag, but I made it almost two thirds of the way through. I even went to a snobby, avant-garde modern art gallery opening once for an exhibit that turned out to be a collection of wooden furniture covered in thousands of nails (I’m not making this up, I swear).

    I can endure boring, elitist, over-priced entertainment as well as the next beaten down husband. I’ve gone to the ballet. I’ve stayed awake through several Shakespeare plays – and had a vague idea of who the bad guys were in a couple of them. I even survived a modern dance recital my wife roped me into in which each dancer represented a different vegetable. (I’m pretty sure the guy in the green leotards was a zucchini, but he might have been a cucumber.)

    So, don’t tell me I’m not willing to expand my artistic horizons. But every man has a line he won’t cross. And for me, that line is OPERA – that is, until last night, when my wife told me, “Turn off CSI Miami. We’re going to the opera tonight.” Fortunately, I was already wearing my dress shorts.

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    • Bobblehead night sounds perfect, let me know and I'll be there.
      Bob
  • Published On Nov. 14, 2016 by TEJ
  • It’s a Wonderful Life (but it could have been better) – Part 2 of 2

    Its a wonderful life - Happy family[From Part 1: I had the weirdest dream recently. A lot like the Jimmy Stewart classic, It’s a Wonderful Life. In the film, Stewart’s character, George Bailey, questions whether the people in his life would have been better off had he never been born. Then a guardian angel named Clarence shows him how their lives would have turned out much worse had George never existed. Well, my dream was a bit like that.  A bit…. 

    To read Part 1 of this 2-part series, click here. We pick up with my guardian angel named Tyrone continuing to show me what life would have been like for others if I had never been born.]

    Me: So where are you taking me to now, Tyrone?

    Tyrone: To see someone who was your best friend as a young child.

    Me: My childhood playmate Danny Scott?

    Tyrone: That’s right. Look out there. What do you see?

    Me: A baseball field – with a bunch of kids playing.

    Tyrone: And notice who’s playing short stop?

    Me: Is that Danny? It can’t be. He could barely walk for most of his childhood on account of a bad fall off a swing set.

    Tyrone: No, he didn’t have a bad fall.

    Me: Are we going to start this again, Tyrone? Yes, he did. I know. Because I was the kid who pushed him too hard from behind, and he flew 12 feet into the air before landing hard, breaking his leg. He never walked the same after that.

    Tyrone: You didn’t push Danny off the swing. Because you were never born, remember?

    Me: Oh right. That It’s a Wonderful Life thing. I almost forgot. So what happened to him?

    Tyrone: Well, because Danny never had that terrible fall, he never injured his leg. He played little league and went on to play high school ball, then college ball. He got so good the Chicago Cubs recruited him as a pitcher in 1977. He became a Major League all-star. He went on to earn millions. Technically, hundreds of millions. All those Nike endorsement deals added up. Read More…


    • Thanks for their perspective Tim. Course in miracles says, "the smallest pin point of light can light the darkest room."
      Davie
  • Published On Dec. 13, 2015 by TEJ
  • It’s a Wonderful Life (but it could have been better) – Part 1 of 2

    Its a wonderful life - Happy familyI had the weirdest dream the other night. Remember the Jimmy Stewart classic, It’s a Wonderful Life? In the film, Stewart’s character, George Bailey, questions whether the people in his life would have been better off had he never been born. Then a guardian angel named Clarence shows him how their lives would have turned out if he had never existed. Well, my dream was a bit like that. A bit….

    Me (in my dream, thinking to myself): Today was a crappy day. Nothing went right. My boss chewed me out for botching an important deal. My wife is upset with me too, for – um, to be honest, I have no idea why. Something about my buying a pet yak without consulting her. Who knows? Even my kids were pissed at me again – although in fairness, that’s been their normal feeling about me since puberty. Gosh, I’m depressed. Sometimes I wonder if everybody in my life would have been better off if I’d never been born.

    Angel Tyrone: Why do you say that, Tim?

    Me: WHA??? WHO THE HELL ARE YOU!!!!???? AND HOW DID YOU GET IN MY BEDROOM!!!!????

    Tyrone: Nice to meet you, Tim. I’m your guardian angel – Tyrone.

    Me: The Hell you are. Who ARE you and how did you get in here!!?? I have a pistol under my pillow, and I’m not afraid to use it.

    Tyrone: No, you don’t.

    Me: Oh, yeah? Just try me. And how would you know anyway, TY-RELL, if that’s even your real name?

    Tyrone: It’s Tyrone. As I said, I’m your guardian angel. So I know you don’t have a gun under there. I’ve known you your entire life, Tim. For example, I know where you stashed the Playboy magazines you stole from your brother when you were 11.

    Me: Oh, you do, eh? Well, why don’t you just tell me, Tyson? Read More…


    • Great Photoshop work Tim. If you were never born - the world would be a much sadder place without our…
      Janice Strong
  • Published On Dec. 07, 2015 by TEJ